New City Council Student Liaison Hopes To Strengthen College Park-UMD Relationship
In high school, Dan Alpert and Adam Rosenbaum were part of the same youth group. And when the time came for the group’s election, Rosenbaum arrived with a distinct look, Alpert said: wearing a single briefcase with only his speech inside.
âI knew from there that he was a kid who took things seriously and knew how to best represent a group of people,â said Alpert, a rising senior marketing major.
With Alpert taking over the chairmanship of the Student Government Association, the post of Student Liaison at College Park City Council fell vacant – and Rosenbaum rose to the challenge, now representing the roughly 30,000 undergraduates in this college. university to city council.
Rosenbaum, a young student of computer science and finance, has always had a keen interest in city politics, he said, particularly when he became president of housing for his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Mu, in the last spring. He became interested in the “strange dynamic” between landlords and their student tenants and began attending council meetings to learn more about the city’s issues.
In November, he was elected president of the fraternity and his attention began to turn to student voters.
âI see how students on campus don’t really vote and are not really well represented,â Rosenbaum said. “It was something that worried me a lot.”
[Dan Alpert elected next president of UMD SGA]
Mat Steininger, vice president of the fraternity, said Rosenbaum encourages students to vote for city council members every two years. Rosenbaum wanted to strengthen the student electoral bloc, he added, because they are also residents.
“He has a lot of plans for what he wants to do,” said Steininger, a young computer science student. “Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming, but it does.”
As a student liaison, Rosenbaum’s main objective is to strengthen the dialogue between the students and the city. He wants the university and College Park to work together, rather than being two separate entities. There are ongoing collaborations – like the Town Hall project – but there must be more, he said.
âYou will rarely see students working on community service activities within the city or for the city or students working with residents,â Rosenbaum said. âMost students don’t even know their neighbors.
[College Park City Council approves cost, parking agreements with UMD for city hall project]
Rosenbaum admitted he had concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Building those relationships won’t be as easy as face-to-face meetings aren’t possible, but he’s excited to learn the ropes and won’t let complications get in the way of his goals, he said.
âI have a feeling the job is going to be different,â Rosenbaum said. “But it’s gonna be a good time.”
Josh Mendelson – another friend of Rosenbaum’s – said Rosenbaum’s ambition and meticulousness would serve him well in this role.
Mendelson recounted a recent incident when Rosenbaum found a single bold comma on his resume. After worrying about the mistake to his friends, they reassured him that it was okay.
But Mendelson also highlighted Rosenbaum’s compassionate side. He’s empathetic, he said, which is a valuable trait to have as a student bond.
âHe’s always there for me,â Mendelson said. “Whatever I have to talk about, he’s sitting there and he’s listening, and he’s a good sounding board for most things.”
Overall, Rosenbaum sees his new role as that of a bridge builder between city and university. It’s a representative, he said, and not someone who should come out shouting a specific point of view, but the oil that helps the machine run.
“If I help people connect with each other and talk about things that are of mutual interest to them,” Rosenbaum said, “I think that would be what a good job would look like.”